Si Kecil Belum Tentu Lemah, Si Besar Belum Tentu Kuat

 

Terinspirasi membuat sebuah tulisan singkat ini setelah melihat seorang kerabat membuka google earth yang tertuju pada sebuah Negara Kota yang besarnya bagaikan sebuah titik dibandingkan dengan satu per lima wilayah Indonesia (lihat gambar di atas paragraf ini). Sebuah Negara tempat berkumpulnya orang-orang “atas angin” (sebutan untuk bangsa tionghoa yang merantau di bumi Nusantara- sabdo palon). Bukan membahas tentang SARA yang ditekankan didalam artikel ini, namun lebih kepada kisah “David and Goliath” yang membuktikan bahwa yang kecil belum tentu lemah dan sebaliknya yang besar belum tentu menang. Serta bukan pula membanggakan kejayaan bangsa lain akan tetapi justru lebih condong kepada membangkitkan kesadaran dan Nasionalisme Bangsa Indonesia untuk lebih memahami pentingnya kekuatan militer di sebuah Negara yang berdaulat seperti Indonesia tanpa adanya unsur kepentingan pribadi maupun golongan.

 

Kemudian, liht gambar atas, saya akan mencoba untuk men-zooming gambar tersebut menjadi lebih fokus pada titik yang dimaksud. Saya sedikit membuat teka-teki bukan untuk membuat penasaran, tetapi untuk mengarahkan para pembaca terhadap apa yang maksud dari tulisan di paragraph pertama. Apakah terlihat dua buah pulau bernama Pulau Sudong dan sebuah lagi bernama Pulau Pawai? Dan apa yang terdapat di dalam Pulau tersebut? Baiklah, saya akan bantu pembaca untuk mengetahui apa yang terdapat di atas dua pulau tersebut, maka saya akan zoom lebih besar lagi gambar Pulau Sudong dan Pulau Pawai.

Terlihat jelas bahwa Pulau Sudong adalah sebuah Pangkalan Udara militer dimana Pulau Pawai terdapat Area Weapon Range milik si Negara Kota. Kemudian, apa hubungannya dengan pertahanan Negara Indonesia Raya tercinta? Seperti kita ketahui bahwa paranoid Negara Kota tersebut sebenarnya sudah terjadi sejak zaman keruntuhan Majapahit, dimana disaat zaman Raja Brawijaya V orang-orang “atas angin” mendapat perlindungan yang luar biasa dari Sang Penguasa saat itu, dan setelah runtuhnya majapahit kondisi menjadi lebih tidak positif untuk mereka beserta keturunannya maka banyak diantara mereka yang berkumpul dalam satu pulau kecil tersebut baik yang berasal dari Indonesia maupun semenanjung Malaysia.

Paranoid yang sudah sangat mengakar tersebut mengakibatkan semangat menggebu-gebu untuk menjadi lebih kuat dari pada tetangga sekitarnya dengan prinsip detterent power is everything for them”. Salah satu imbasnya terhadap Indonesia saat ini adalah menyangkut kepada penguasaan wilayah kendali udara Nasional di Kepulauan Riau. Sejak tahun 1999 disaat pasca krisis ekonomi melanda Indonesia telah menyebabkan tergadainya ruang udara Nasional di daerah Kepulauan Riau sampai dengan Pulau Natuna, yang disebabkan kurangnya peralatan yang memadai bagi Air Traffic Control (ATC) di wilayah tersebut. Namun, setelah saat ini Indonesia dinilai bisa memenuhi standar ATC justru muncul Undang-Undang Penerbangan Internasional No. 1 tahun 2009 yang menyebutkan bahwa “secara otomatis ruang wilayah udara di Kepulauan Riau dan sekitarnya akan dikembalikan ke Indonesia setelah 15 tahun berlakunya Undang-Undang tersebut. Artinya adalah pada tahun 2024 Flight Information Region Kepulauan Riau baru kembali ke Pangkuan Ibu Pertiwi.

Dengan adanya AWR serta pangkalan udara militer di Pulau Sudong dan Pulau Pawai, maka tentunya sebentar lagi akan ada restricted/prohibited area di ruang udara Kepulauan Riau yang aslinya milik bangsa dan tanah air Indonesia. Paranoid Negara Kota yang sedemikian besar cukup membuat kita kehilangan kewaspadaan dan justru dengan terbit UU No. 1 2009 tersebut Negara Kota telah mempersiapkan dari jauh-jauh hari agar pada waktunya di tahun 2024 memiliki alibi baru dan kuat untuk tidak mengembalikan wilayah Kontrol Udara Nasional Indonesia Raya.

Sekali lagi, tulisan ini bukan untuk tujuan SARA, namun lebih kepada menyadarkan seluruh komponen bangsa Indonesia apapun warna kulitnya; bagaimana pun bentuk matanya; apapun warna partainya; dan apapun agamanya, untuk terus waspada dengan “semut kecil yang selalu bisa membunuh gajah besar melalui lubang telinganya”

Sebagai penutup, gambar dibawah ini lebih membuktikan  bahwa “si kecil belum tentu lemah, si besar belum tentu kuat”

 

Salam

Seveneleven

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Dilema Gold, Gospel and Glory Antara Amerika Serikat dan China

Amerika Serikat, sebuah Negara yang pada masa George W Bush berkuasa, pernah menempatkan Indonesia di urutan teratas sebagai Negara sarang teroris yang dinilai cukup mengancam keberadaan serta kepentingan Amerika Serikat di dunia. Sejalan dengan pemikiran Amerika Serikat terhadap China sebagai Negara yang sedang berkembang sangat pesat dan menimbulkan image bahwa China adalah sebuah Negara adi daya baru yang sangat besar serta bersahabat kepada Negara-negara kawasannya semakin menciptakan anggapan Amerika terhadap China bahwa Negara “Sang Naga Merah” tersebut seakan-akan ingin mengembangkan hegemoninya di kawasan Asia Timur, Tenggara hingga Selatan. Dari tulisan ini penulis ingin menggambarkan tentang posisi silang Indonesia yang berada di antara Negara Super Power Amerka Serikat terhadap “Sang Super Naga” wujud dari Negara Adi Daya baru yang mana kedua Negara tersebut sama – sama ingin menunjukkan diri sebagai “kakak tertua” penjamin keamanan bagi Indonesia Raya.

Sedikit menelisik pada pada sejarah 5 – 6 abad yang lampau ketika bangsa barat untuk pertama kalinya mendarat di Nusantara dan sedikit mundur pada masa abad 8 – 9 yang lalu dimana Bangsa China pun mendaratkan pengaruhnya di Nusantara. Keduanya sama kepentingan  dan maksud yakni untuk memperluas hegemoninya serta melakukan misi-misi yang bersifat ekspansif baik melalui bidang ekonomi, politik maupun social budaya dengan tujuan utama adalah demi mendapatkan “gold, gospel and glory”.

 Jika kita majukan cerita menuju awal abad ke 20 dimana terdapat dua kekuatan “bi-polar” yakni Amerika Serikat dan Uni Soviet dalam “cold war” yang merupakan suatu bentuk peperangan ideology melalui peperangan informasi untuk menciptakan “the new world order” dan ujungnya tetaplah kepada kejayaan “gold, gospel and glory”, kemudian keruntuhan Uni Soviet diakhir abad ke 20 sebagai wujud kekalahan hegemoninya diikuti oleh Amerika Serikat sebagai kekuatan tunggal di dunia tanpa saingan terbukti dengan kroni – kroni Soviet yang semakin menuju ke arah kapitalisme yang dianut oleh “Sang Adi Daya Tunggal” . Kembali kepada “gold, gospel and glory” bahwa Amerika Serikat dengan mudahnya beberapa kali “menguasai daerah timur tengah sebagai daerah sumber daya mineral minyak bumi terbesar di dunia terlihat dengan super control nya Amerika menjatukan Hosni Mubarak, Saddam Hussein, Moamar Ghadaffi serta Osama Bin Laden.

China, Negara “Sang Naga Merah” dari daratan Asia, merupakan sebuah Negara yang pernah tidak berdaya dengan system yang dianutnya pada akhir abad 19 sampai awal abad 20. Namun, sepertinya keterpurukkan bukanlah menjadi tantangan berat bagi Negara yang memiliki jati diri serta identitas kebangsaan hingga 5000 tahun yang lalu tersebut. China telah bangkit ,menjadi Negara “super power” baru melalui tahapan – tahapan yang sebenarnya cukup unik. Muncul sebagai Negara produsen barang – barang tiruan mulai dari teknologi yang simple sampai dengan super teknologi; mulai dari mainan anak – anak; perlengkapan elektronik; pengembangan teknologi kendaraan bermotor; dan yang cukup menggetarkan dunia terutama Amerika Serikat adalah China hadir sebagai Negara produsen peralatan perang yang canggih dan mutakhir serta diproduksi massal untuk kepentingan pertahanan dalam  negerinya maupun dijual ke Negara- Negara kawasan.

Melihat hubungan antara Indonesia dengan Amerika Serikat maupun China yang selalu menjadi pembicaraan hangat oleh beberapa kalangan elit nasional maupun internasional, semakin menumbuhkan pra-anggapan yang kuat bahwa masa depan Negara kepulauan yang bernama Indonesia Raya akan berada dalam posisi tengah diantara maneuver antara Amerika Serikat dan China. China yang telah mengumandangkan sebuah icon the big brother of Asia” (hampir mirip dengan icon  Jepang  kala menguasai  Asia Tenggara : “Jepun sebagai Saudara Tua Dari Timur”) tampaknya mulai bersifat ekspansif dengan niat tulusnya untuk menguasai Spratly Island di Laut China Selatan, walaupun secara geografis kepulauan tersebut lebih condong kearah kepulauan Philipina. Sehingga jika kenginan China untuk ekspansi terhadap Spratly Island tersebut berhasil sesuai keinginan “Sang Naga Merah”, maka tidak menutup kemungkinan dikemudian hari China akan meneruskan ekspansinya kearah lebih selatan lagi yakni Pulau Natuna, Indonesia. Maka menjadi hal yang tidak mustahil ketika Amerika Serikat menghadirkan 2500 pasukan marinir mereka di Darwin Australia dimana tempat tersebut merupakan tempat yang sangat strategis untuk mengawasi pergerakkan ekspansi China terhadap Indonesia karena tentunya Amerika memiliki kepentingan yang lumayan besar tentang keberadaannya di Indonesia pula. Singkat katanya adalah: “Indonesia memang begitu memikat bangsa – bangsa di dunia sejak zaman dahulu hingga sekarang.”

 Indonesia adalah Negara yang memiliki wilayah lautan yang sangat luas di dunia ini. Kekayaan Laut Indonesia begitu besar melimpah termasuk mineral – mineral yang terkandung di dalamnya. Jika kembali kepada “gold, gospel and glory” maka pertanyaan besar adalah:”Siapa yang sanggup untuk berpaling dari Indonesia?” dan “siapa yang tidak tergiur dengan emas, uranium, minyak bumi, gas alam, rempah – rempah, dan lainnya yang terkandung dalam bumi Indonesia Raya?”

 Jika kita melihat kondisi serta apa yang sedang direncanakan oleh China maupun Amerika Serikat saat ini, maka sudah sepantasnya kita bangsa Indonesia harus menjadi “adik yang baik namun cerdas”, Indonesia harus tetap waspada walaupun China akan menyetujui transfer of technology dari rudal C-705. Sejalan dengan hal tersebut, ketika Amerika Serikat terus membelikan “mainan bagus” untuk “adiknya” namun kewaspadaan tetap harus terjaga agar Indonesia tidak “terjual” sehingga jangan ada satu titik pun dari wilayah dan kekayaan Indonesia menjadi keberhasilan tujuan “gold, gospel and glory” bagi China dan Amerika Serikat.

 

“Pemikiran Sederhana Seorang Rakyat Jelata”

 

Seveneleven

 

 

Procurement of Aussie Airforce

The procurement of around 100 Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft – widely expected following a government review of air combat capabilities but confirmed in the May 2009 Defence White Paper – is to be augmented by a number of other key acquisitions. These will eventually include approximately seven new high-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to complement the AP-3C replacement as well as new tactical transports to replace the DHC-4 Caribous that were finally retired at the end of 2009.

In May 2012, the Australian DoD announced spending cuts in the defence spending over the next four years leading to some programmes like the F-35 Lightening II Joint Strike Fighters to be delayed. However, Defence Minister Smith confirmed that several projects that had been considered to be under threat will progress in the coming year. These include a new battlefield airlifter to replace the retired Caribou fleet and a decision on whether to upgrade 12 of the RAAF’s 24 F/A-18F Super Hornets to the EA-18G Growler electronic attack variant.

COMBAT

Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)

Project AIR 6000 is expected to be Australia’s most expensive defence procurement to date, with up to AUD17 billion to be spent on procurement of 100 Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft and potentially a further AUD20 billion in operational costs.

Despite early misgivings expressed by the Labour government, approval was announced in November 2009 for the Phase 2A acquisition of an initial batch of 14 JSF aircraft at an estimated cost of AUD3.2 billion. According to statements by Defence Minister Smith in November 2010, “Australia’s first two aircraft will be delivered in 2014 in the United States.” The next four are expected to be delivered in 2016 and the remaining eight to follow in 2017. However Australia’s DoD announced defence spending cuts in May 2012 and the acquisition of the initial tranche of 14 F-35s was delayed by two years until 2016-17.

Approval for a follow-on Phase 2B batch of 58 aircraft will be considered in 2012. With the first batch, this will be sufficient to equip three front-line squadrons and a training unit, with these squadrons planned to be operational by 2021. A subsequent Phase 2C acquisition to increase the total number to 100 (allowing creation of a fourth operational squadron) will be considered in conjunction with a decision on withdrawal of the F/A-18F Super Hornet from around 2020. The total expected cost for these additional 86 JSF aircraft will be AUD17 billion, as announced by the government in November 2010. At that time, the defence minister also said: “Operational costs for a total fleet of about 100 aircraft would be in the order of AUD20 billion over a 30-year life based on the currently expected rate of effort and assuming the economies of scale of an eventual all Joint Strike Fighter fleet.”

In February 2010 then-defence Minister John Faulkner welcomed the restructuring of the JSF programme by US Defence Secretary Robert Gates to deal with cost and schedule issues, and said significant buffers had been built into the Australian JSF acquisition programme to deal with such factors. However, in July 2011, Defence Minister Smith stepped away from guaranteeing additional purchases of the F-35, stating that the project is starting to “rub against” the country’s ceilings for schedule and cost. The delay on the initial tranche of F-35 purchases will allow Australia to avoid taking delivery of the aircraft until its continuing development problems have been ironed out.

Super Hornet

In early 2007, the government started a USD5.9 billion (AUD6.6 billion) procurement programme of 24 Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet aircraft as a ‘bridging’ air combat capability to cover the gap left by retirement of the F-111. Following the delivery of the first five to Amberley in March 2010, a total of 20 were confirmed in-country by August 2011 and the RAAF took delivery of the remaining four were in October 2011, completing the formation of its first and sixth squadron. The first squadron of F/A-18F Super Hornet aircraft achieved IOC in December 2010 and full operational capability is anticipated for December 2012.

A total of 12 of these Super Hornets incorporate wiring to enable a possible future upgrade to the EA-18G Growler electronic warfare configuration. The EA-18Gs would provide the RAAF with an entirely new tactical capability and a decision on the upgrade is expected to be made in 2012.

As part of the package, Australia will also receive the AIM-9X Sidewinder IR-homing air-to-air missile and two types of Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) – the AGM-154C (JSOW-C) and JSOW C-1. The RAAF ordered 50 JSOW-Cs in October 2007 as part of a larger USD617 million weapons package and the first JSOW-C weapon was delivered in September 2009. The first two test-drops of the JSOW-C weapon outside the US were conducted in late 2010, by a Super Hornet over the Woomera Test Range in South Australia. Both tests were successful, according to the DoD. Meanwhile, the JSOW C-1 is currently in production with deliveries due to begin in late 2011.

In August 2011, the Defence Minister announced that Australia would order more F/A-18F Super Hornets if there were further delays or problems with the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) programme. He added that the DoD had advised him that Australia could wait until 2013 before making alternative arrangements to avoid a gap in the country’s air combat capability.

TRANSPORT

C-130J-30

The RAAF took delivery of the last of 12 C-130J-30 Super Hercules medium transport aircraft from Lockheed Martin in late 2001 as part of a USD900 million (AUD1 billion) project. These aircraft replaced 12 elderly C-130Es.

The seven remaining C-130H aircraft are scheduled to be retired between 2013 and 2015, although some may be sold to Indonesia earlier than those dates. Initially, the RAAF intended to acquire two additional C-130J-30s, but the March 2011 decision to procure another Boeing C-17A Globemaster III reportedly obviated the need for more C-130J-30s.

C-17A Globemaster III

The reduction in the C-130 fleet takes account of the purchase of Boeing C-17A Globemaster III strategic lift aircraft. Four of these aircraft were acquired under Project AIR 8000 Phase 3 via the US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme at a total cost of USD1.89 billion (AUD2.1 billion) including facilities and a training package. The first aircraft arrived in Australia in December 2006, with the fourth and last being delivered in March 2008. IOC was attained in September 2007.

The importance of these aircraft was reinforced during humanitarian missions in 2010-11, both in Australia, and during the Christchurch earthquake in New Zealand. As a result, in April 2011, Australia confirmed that an order had been placed for a fifth C-17A in an FMS deal worth an estimated USD300 million (including four spare engines, training and logistics support). Delivery of this aircraft occurred in September 2011, at which time Australia announced it had issued a letter of request to the United States for a sixth aircraft under an FMS deal worth USD280 million. Delivery of the additional platform is expected in early 2013.

DHC-4 Replacement

Phase 2 of Project AIR 8000 is concerned with acquisition of a replacement for the 13 DHC-4 Caribou withdrawn from service in November 2009. In May 2012, the Australian DoD decided to buy 10 Alenia C-27J Spartan tactical airlifters at a cost of AUD1.4 billion (USD1.5 billion). The first deliveries will take place in 2015 and initial operating capability is expected by the end of 2016. The purchase will be made though the US FMS programme and the cost will cover initial logistic support including training for aircrew and maintenance personnel.

The DoD dispatched a letter of request (LoR) to Alenia Aeronautica for the C-27J Spartan in October 2011, saying “defence analysis has confirmed that the C-27J Spartan is an aircraft that could meet Australia’s battlefield tactical airlift capability need.” The request, which was published in a US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notification in December 2011, is for 10 aircraft, spare engines, defensive countermeasures, communications systems, training, support, and sustainment.

Alenia C-27J was selected over the EADS CASA C-295. Media reports in December 2011 quoted the head of the RAAF as saying that he did not want the C-295 as it cannot accommodate as many of the army’s vehicle types. The C-27J was also thought to be favoured by Australia due to its commonality with the C-130J.

As a temporary replacement following retirement of the Caribou, five King Air 350 aircraft have been leased from Hawker Pacific, augmented by the transfer of a further three examples from the army in November 2009.

Air-to-Air Refuellers

Project AIR 5402 is replacing and enhancing RAAF air-to-air refuelling (AAR) capabilities through the purchase of five new generation Airbus KC-30A (A330) Multirole Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft for service with No. 33 Squadron at RAAF Amberley, Queensland. The new aircraft are to have a secondary role of strategic airlift and will be capable of refuelling fighter, strike and AEW&C aircraft. The RAAF took delivery of four aircraft in 2011, and the fifth was expected to be delivered in 2012.

Under the terms of the AUD1.4 billion contract, signed in December 2004, the first KC-30A was scheduled to enter service in early 2008, following completion of testing in Australia and military type certification. However, the programme has suffered from repeated delays and the first Airbus A330 destined for the RAAF only arrived at Brisbane on 1 June 2008 before being formally inducted into the KC-30A conversion facility five days later. This aircraft was the first of four A330s to be modified by Qantas Defence Services (QDS) in Australia. A fifth example (actually the first KC-30A) was flown for the first time on 15 June 2007 after being converted to tanker-transport configuration by EADS CASA at Getafe in Spain.

The MRTT programme is now more than two years behind schedule and has been placed on the government’s so-called Projects of Concern list. Moreover, Jane’s learned in March 2011 that significant contractual difficulties were holding up delivery of the first two aircraft. According to Jane’s source’s, the aircraft had been ready for delivery from Airbus Military since January 2011 but remained at the company’s facility at Getafe near Madrid because the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) was unhappy with the size of the envelope within which the air-to-air refuelling boom moved when extended. They also said the DMO was unhappy with the quality and timeliness of KC-30A technical publications. Moreover, in late March 2011, a DoD spokesperson confirmed that the Spanish military certification agency INTA had withdrawn its technical certificate for the boom, following what it described as a serious incident in January 2011 when the boom separated from an RAAF KC-30A and was lost at sea during a training flight with Portuguese Lockheed Martin F-16s. The KC-30A was being flown at the time by Airbus Military. In response, an Airbus Military spokesperson told Jane’s: “As is only natural after any incident, and in order to continuously improve our products, some lessons were learned from the January incident. Some minor modifications were defined and will be implemented prior to delivery.” It later described the incident as “of an operational nature” – generally taken to mean human error.

C4ISR

Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C)

In mid-2000, Australia selected Boeing as the preferred tenderer to supply four AEW&C aircraft under Project Wedgetail. The aircraft are based on the Boeing 737-700/800 series with a Northrop Grumman Multirole Electronically Scanned Array (MESA) radar fitted in a longitudinal housing running along the top of the fuselage.

In the May 2004-05 budget, the government exercised its option to add two further aircraft to its original purchase. The first two aircraft were scheduled for delivery in late 2006 with the balance to follow by 2008 but integration issues, shortfalls in radar performance and delays in development of the Electronic Support Measures (ESM) suite by BAE Systems Australia have put the USD3.5 billion (AUD3.9 billion) programme years behind schedule.

The first two aircraft received initial acceptance by the RAAF in early May 2010, although the ESM had yet to be fitted. The third and fourth aircraft received initial acceptance later in 2010. The fifth aircraft – the first with fully mission-capable ESM – was to have been delivered in late 2010 but will now be handed over in the second half of 2011. The sixth platform will be delivered towards the end of 2011 and final acceptance for all six aircraft will occur in the first quarter of 2012.

In January 2010, Boeing was awarded an USD736 million (AUD800 million) five-year in-service support contract for the Wedgetail programme. Warren King, general manager programmes of the Defence Materiel Organisation, said the performance-based support contract included provisions for development work to continue on the MESA radar.

Maritime Patrol

Deferral of Project AIR 7000 Phase 1 (to acquire unmanned aerial vehicles) has not affected Project AIR 7000 Phase 2 which seeks to replace the RAAF’s ageing fleet of AP-3C Orions that are due to retire in 2018. Acquisition of eight new maritime patrol aircraft will cost around USD4.5 billion (AUD5 billion) and is expected to be approved around 2014-15 to achieve an IOC during 2017-19.

In May 2009 it was announced that the Australian DoD had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the USN to jointly develop the Boeing P-8A Poseidon multimission maritime aircraft (MMA). Australia joined the USN’s P-8A development effort and received ‘first pass’ approval in June 2007 together with funding of AUD150 million.

Under project AIR 7000 Phase 2, Australia plans to procure the eight new maritime patrol aircraft. The project received ‘intermediate pass’ together with a DoD approval for AUD100 million (USD100.8 million) on 13 December 2011.

Electronic Warfare

Under Project Echidna (AIR 5416), a number of ADF combat and support aircraft were to receive an Electronic Warfare Self-Protection (EWSP) suite to improve survivability in high threat environments. In September 2009 the government announced a reduced scope for Air 5416 Phase 2, which was to have provided EWSP for ADF helicopters. Modifications were to be completed on 12 Black Hawks by mid-2010 to provide a basic level of self- protection but work would be discontinued on a more advanced equipment suite including the Australian developed ALR-2002 radar warning receiver.

All 12 CH-130H transports were earlier modified under Project Echidna with the Elisra 1000 (V) 5 RWR AN/AAR-47 MWR and the AN/ALE-47 counter measures dispensing system.

Phases 4B1 and 4B2 of Project Echidna will see the RAAF’s C-130Js equipped with the US baseline equipment of AN/ALR-56M RWR and a Large Aircraft IR Counter-Measures (LAIRCM) set – based on Northrop Grumman’s AN/AAQ-24(V) Nemesis DIRCM system. The same fit equips the RAAF’s C-17A strategic transports and six Wedgetail AEW&C platforms and will also be installed on the five KC-30A multi-role tanker-transports.

Under the separate Hornet Upgrade Programme (HUG) Phase 2.3, the RAAF’s 71 F/A/-18A/Bs had received the AN/ALR-67(V)3 RWR, additional pylon-mounted chaff and flare dispensers, and the EL-L-3222 radar jammer pod by late 2009.

UAV

Project AIR 7000 Phase 1B had sought to acquire a fleet of High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) unmanned aerial systems for maritime patrol and other surveillance missions. The fleet was scheduled to enter service between 2009 and 2011 at a cost of up to USD1.2 billion (AUD1.5 billion). The most likely candidate was thought to be Northrop Grumman’s RQ-4B Global Hawk UAV. However, in March 2009, the phase was deferred and approval for a HALE capability will not now be sought until sometime after 2019. Consistent with this, in March 2009, the Australian DoD announced that Australia would not join the development phase of the USN’s broad-area maritime surveillance (BAMS) programme in which the RQ-4N Global Hawk is intended to complement the P-8A.

Consideration has also been given to the acquisition of a tactical unmanned aerial vehicle (TUAV). At one point, it looked as if this would result in procurement of the Boeing I-View 250, for which a contract valued at USD113 million (AUD145 million) had been concluded with the US aerospace company. Boeing had teamed with Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) to satisfy this requirement, but the contract was eventually terminated in September 2008 as a consequence of what the DoD said in a statement was “unacceptable delays” in delivery. At the time, Jane’s sources said that the DoD would look to replace the Boeing/IAI programme with a system that would require fewer design modifications.

This appears to have culminated in Project Nankeen, in which the IAI Heron UAV system was leased from MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates, while a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was concluded with Canada for assistance. This included the training of RAAF personnel, which began in July 2009. The first Heron was handed over in Israel in early December 2009 and subsequently deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan on 18 December. Formal acceptance by Australia followed in late January 2010, allowing operational deployment of a total of three airframes to commence by the end of that month.

In July 2010, the lease arrangement was extended to permit a second year of operations, scheduled to conclude in December 2011. Ahead of that deadline, in July 2011 a further extension was granted to permit a third year of UAV surveillance using the leased Herons. The contract will now end in December 2012.

AIR DEFENCE

The Australian DoD announced in January 2009 that it had signed an agreement with Boeing Australia to resolve “long-standing commercial issues” associated with Project Vigilare, a replacement for the RAAF’s air defence and control system. The USD210 million (AUD270 million) programme – Project AIR 5333 – consists of data processing and voice communications software and hardware intended to receive, process and fuse a mass of information from a variety of Australian and allied networks and systems. These include civil and military air traffic control radars and Link 11 and Link 16 tactical data networks, together with inputs from specialised data sources such as the Jindalee Over-The-Horizon Radar Network (JORN), Wedgetail AEW&C aircraft, and the RAN’s future Air Warfare Destroyers (AWDs). Designed with future growth in mind, Vigilare will also be capable of accepting, and using as required, developments in satellite and UAV imagery, electronic intelligence (ELINT), space-based infra-red systems, signals intelligence (SIGINT) plus a range of other data and voice intelligence inputs.

The system will fuse this material to help compile the ADF’s Recognised Air Picture (RAP) across Australia’s area of interest, which stretches from the mid-Indian Ocean to the western Pacific.

The programme was originally scheduled to be completed in 2003. The critical design review was successfully completed in July 2008 and in February 2010 Boeing Australia said the system would undergo operational testing in mid-year before being handed over to the Commonwealth. It was eventually commissioned into service in September 2010, allowing the legacy Warden system to be decommissioned on the same day.

MISSILE

Concurrent with the acquisition of the JSF, Phases 3 and 5 of Project AIR 6000 will acquire reserve stock holdings of air-to-ground and air-to-air weapons for the JSF and Super Hornet. The estimated cost for both Phase 3 and 5 is USD672 million (AUD750 million).

Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile

In February 2006 the Lockheed Martin AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) was selected as the new long-range air-to-surface weapon for the RAAF’s F/A-18A/B fleet at a cost of up to USD405 million (AUD450 million). Australia received its first JASSM test units in March 2007 and was initially expected to declare an IOC for the system in late 2009. However, there have been delays to the programme and the first live release of the JASSM from a RAAF F/A-18A/B took place in July 2011; it is not yet known if this has taken place and a revised IOC announcement is still awaited. The JASSM was to cover the gap in strike capability left by the retirement of the F-111C in 2010. However, as a result of delays and “risks to capability” with the weapon’s acquisition, the DoD added the programme to its ‘Projects of Concern’ list in November 2010. The programme was removed from the list in December 2011.

Phases 3 and 5 of Project AIR 6000 will acquire reserve stock holdings of air-to-ground and air-to-air weapons for the JSF and Super Hornet. The anticipated cost for of each phase is toward the lower end of a USD450 million – USD1.35 billion (AUD500 million – USD1.5 billion) range, with IOC anticipated between 2017 and 2020.

Joint Direct Attack Munition

Under Project JP 3027 Phase 1, the performance of the GPS-guided Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) weapons employed by the RAAF will be enhanced. Options include range extension wing kits, improved guidance and enhanced warheads. The project is expected to cost in the region of USD67 million (AUD75 million) and, pending government approval around 2011, should deliver an IOC between 2012 and 2014.

AIM-120C-7

In June 2011, Australia approached the United States for permission to procure Raytheon air-to-air missiles to equip the Royal Australian Air Force’s fleet of Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornets. The potential deal, to be progressed under the US FMS mechanism, calls for the provision of up to 110 AIM-120C-7 advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles, air training missiles and associated equipment and services. The DSCA said the deal is estimated to cost USD202 million.

Source : Jane’s.com

Australia Federal Election Analysis 2010

Australia Federal Election

The 2010 Australian Federal Elections were fought against the backdrop of Kevin Rudd’s removal as prime minister following a leadership challenge by his deputy, Julia Gillard, in June 2010. Seeking a mandate of her own, Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced her intention to hold federal elections ahead of the constitutional deadline of April 2011. In July 2010 she announced that elections would be held on 21 August. The polls were neck and neck on election day and resulted in the country’s first hung parliament since 1940.

After she came to power, Gillard described her predecessor’s administration as “a good government… losing its way”. Moreover, with a background in the tough, union-dominated politics of New South Wales and a focus on domestic political issues, Gillard marked a shift from Rudd and a deliberate challenge to the tough-talking Abbott. Rudd’s fall could be traced to a number of policy issues – particularly relating to asylum seekers, environmental issues and a controversial mining tax – on which Gillard was quick to distance herself from ahead of the election. However, by August these problematic issues had returned to frustrate Labor. For example, a possible solution to the asylum seeker problem stumbled when East Timor, Labor’s proposed location for an offshore detention centre, rebuffed Gillard’s proposals. Labor then found itself outflanked by the Liberal Party, which suggested reopening the old detention centre on Nauru – a proposal met with considerable enthusiasm by Nauru’s cash-strapped government.

Labor was also rocked by a series of damaging leaks; attributed by some in the media to Rudd or his disgruntled supporters. This apparent disunity at the highest levels gave the opposition the chance to characterise Labor as lacking a clear policy line and moral leadership, instead relying on focus groups and opinion polls. The issue was temporarily resolved in August when Rudd announced that he would campaign for Labor at the national level and indicated his support for Gillard.

The winners from the 2010 poll were the Green Party, which took a single seat in the House and nine seats in the Senate. Additionally, three rural independent MPs enjoyed a brief period of power, as they deliberated over which of the two main parties to support in the immediate post-election period.

After weeks of political vote trading, on 7 September two of the three independents indicated their support for Labor. With the support of the one Green MP and the independent Andrew Wilkie, this gave Labor 76 seats in the House and enabled it to form a government. The Liberal National coalition were left with 73 seats and the support of one independent, the colourful Bob Katter.

The Greens performed particularly well in the Senate and with their nine seats they will hold the balance of power in the chamber when the new body sits in July 2011. While Green leader Senator Bob Brown will align his party with the Labor government on most issues, there remains the potential for disputes, particularly on environmental issues. Nevertheless, the Greens would be unwilling to side with the opposition given Liberal Party leader Tony Abbott’s hostile stance towards the issue of climate change. Indeed the prospect of an obstructive Senate was a key factor behind Labor being better placed to form a government than the opposition and will likely prove a key factor in ensuring that the current government lasts its full three-year term.

Complete Analysis Could be seen at http://www.Janes.com

sevenEleven

Russia, Vietnam step up technical collaboration in UAVs and anti-ship missiles

Jon Grevatt Jane’s Asia-Pacific Industry Reporter

Russia and Vietnam are reportedly stepping up military technical collaboration efforts to jointly develop and produce unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and anti-ship missiles.

The two countries have close defence relations, which have seen Hanoi purchase a number of major platforms from Russia in recent years, although Vietnam’s involvement in these projects has been limited by its industrial capability.

The UAV and anti-ship missile programmes represent a continuation of Hanoi’s strategy to develop that industrial base and focus on the acquisition of technologies that will enable enhanced protection of Vietnam’s expanding assets, notably energy, in the South China Sea.

Citing an interview in Izvestia , Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported on 15 March that the UAV deal – signed a day earlier – covers the initial build of a mini-UAV system designed by Russian aerospace corporation Irkut as well as technology transfer to Vietnam. The value of the deal is USD10 million.

The anti-ship missiles programme was reported by RIA Novosti in February. Russia will lead a project to build facilities in Vietnam to enable localised production of a modified version of the Kh-35 Uran missile system (NATO designation SS-N-25 ‘Switchblade’). Vietnam is understood to already operate SS-N-25 missiles on missile boats purchased from Russia over the past decade.

Yury Malov, head of the Irkut group’s engineering subsidiary, reportedly said that Irkut will build the UAV and its associated ground-based transmitting and control systems and then transfer related technologies and know-how to Vietnam to enable in-country production of the complete system.

The report did not specify the Irkut system to be built for Vietnam, although indications are that it is a short/mid-range UAV with an operational radius of up to 70 km, a take-off weight of up to 100 kg and an autonomous flight endurance of about 16 hours. Vietnam is not thought to operate any UAV systems.

Meanwhile, the Russia-Vietnam programme to jointly manufacture modified SS-N-25 anti-ship missiles in Vietnam was revealed by Mikhail Dmitriyev, head of the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Co-Operation with Foreign Countries.

The programme is scheduled to begin later this year and Dmitriyev told RIA that it will be similar in nature to the Russian-Indian project to build the BrahMos cruise missile, which is based on the Russian 3M55 Oniks/Yakhont missile system (NATO designation SS-NX-26). The BrahMos missile is in series production under a joint venture between India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation and Russia’s NPO Mashinostroyenia.

In recent years Vietnam has emerged as one of Russia’s largest procurers of materiel. In 2010 Hanoi ordered six ‘Kilo’-class (Project 636) diesel-electric submarines; 20 Sukhoi Su-30MK2 fighter aircraft; and Svetlyak-class (Project 1041.2) fast attack craft. Another deal was reportedly signed in December 2011 covering the supply of two additional Gepard frigates equipped with anti-submarine equipment and weapons.

Additionally, Vietnam state news reported in August 2011 that the government was negotiating the potential purchase of additional Russian-made K-300P Bastion-P mobile coastal defence systems.

Although Vietnam’s participation in these programmes has been limited, Hanoi is likely to have negotiated defence offset-related technology transfer from Russia to enable maintenance and support of the ordered platforms. Given its focus on securing off-shore assets, such technologies are likely to be focused on shipbuilding and naval systems as well as those related to missile production and surveillance.

USMC rotation, C-130 donation on agenda at Australian-Indonesia talks

James Hardy JDW Asia-Pacific Editor

Neil Ashdown Country Risk Analyst

Key Points

  • The first 2+2 dialogue between Indonesia and Australia has seen broad agreement on the upcoming rotation of US marines to Darwin
  • Indonesian officials had criticised the arrival of US forces in Australia, saying it threatened to destabilise the regional balance of power

The first ‘2+2 dialogue’ between Australia and Indonesia’s ministers of defence and foreign affairs saw progress on the handover of four surplus Australian C-130 transport aircraft and agreement on the effect of US Marine Corps (USMC) training in Darwin on regional security.

Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Marty Natalegawa had reacted cautiously to the planned rotation of USMC troops to northern Australia when it was announced in November 2011, saying it could lead to a “vicious circle of tension and mistrust” in the Asia-Pacific region.

After meeting with Australia’s foreign minister, Bob Carr, and defence minister, Stephen Smith, on 15 March in Canberra, Natalegawa and Indonesian Minister of Defence Purnomo Yusgiantoro were more positive on the potential outcomes of the USMC rotation, which is due to begin later this year.

Saying that “if there were some questions initially those questions have been provided [with] answers”, Natalegawa added that “one of the potential benefits of such a force would be to address challenges such as human, disaster response capacity”: a key issue for Indonesia given a recent series of major natural and humanitarian disasters.

Yusgiantoro added that “we don’t have a problem at all” with the USMC deployment.

This was reinforced by Carr, who said he had a “happier view” based on comments by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono “that he [Yudhoyono] was satisfied with the announcement about the US force posture review”.

The review, announced by US President Barack Obama in January 2012, is part of a general US shift back to the Pacific after a decade of involvement in the Middle East and Southwest Asia. In October 2011 US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told an audience in Japan: “We will continue to not only maintain but to strengthen our presence in this part of the world.”

While the USMC presence in Darwin will be small, Carr said that it is part of “initiatives designed to reinforce regional stability and offer … enhanced co-operation with regional partners, including on humanitarian and disaster relief”.

Smith referred to previous comments by Yudhoyono, who said that the USMC presence in Northern Australian could lead to trilateral training exercises, “to which both Australia and the United States responded positively”.

The first 2+2 dialogue since the format was established by Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Yudhoyono in March 2010 also touched on the donation of four surplus Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) C-130H Hercules aircraft to the Indonesian Air Force – Tentara Nasional Indonesia- Angkatan Udara (TNI-AU): an offer made by Gillard to Yudhoyono at the East Asia Summit in Bali on 20 November 2011.

In November a spokesperson from Australia’s Department of Defence (DoD) told IHS Jane’s that the offer depended on Indonesia agreeing to fund refurbishment and maintenance costs. A contract to refurbish the aircraft is expected to be valued at around AUD40 million (USD40 million) and will be carried out by a contractor selected by the Indonesian Ministry of Defence.

The RAAF has owned 12 C-130H aircraft since the late 1970s. Only seven remain in service and these are scheduled to be retired in about 2015. The RAAF’s dependency on the aircraft has been reduced by the acquisition of four Boeing C-17A Globemaster III strategic lift aircraft in 2006.

The TNI-AU owns more than 20 C-130 platforms (a mixture of C-130Hs and C-130Bs), although less than half are thought to remain operational because of cannibalisation caused by a lack of funds to procure spares. The operational readiness of the inventory was severely impeded by the six-year military sanctions imposed by the US, which were lifted in 2005 in the aftermath of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami.

 

COMMENT

The establishment of a 2+2 dialogue with Indonesia underlines Australian intentions to improve what has at times been a tense relationship: apart from this forum, Canberra has only established such regular talks with the US, UK and Japan.

Relations between the neighbours have been complicated by Canberra’s support for East Timor, refugee and human rights issues and Jakarta’s perception of an Australian military build-up. In 2004 Indonesia criticised Australian plans to purchase follow-on stand-off weapons (FOSOW) for its F/A-18 Hornet and AP-3C Orion aircraft fleets: a capability that is supposed to be fulfilled by the much-delayed Lockheed Martin AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM).

In addition to the dialogue and C-130H donation, Smith said a defence co-operation agreement would be signed “in the course of the next couple of months” and that annual defence minister meetings would also start in the second half of 2012.